Mumbai

There's plenty to see in Mumbai, but it doesn’t have much in the way of the stationary monuments that London, Paris, Delhi, and other major cities possess. The art of experiencing Mumbai lies in eating, shopping, and wandering through the strikingly different neighborhoods and the various markets. Think of Mumbai as a 50-km (30-
There's plenty to see in Mumbai, but it doesn’t have much in the way of the stationary monuments that London, Paris, Delhi, and other major cities possess. The art of experiencing Mumbai lies in eating, shopping, and wandering through the strikingly different neighborho
There's plenty to see in Mumbai, but it doesn’t have much in the way of the stationary monuments that London, Paris, Del

There's plenty to see in Mumbai, but it doesn’t have much in the way of the stationary monuments that London, Paris, Delhi, and other major cities possess. The art of experiencing Mumbai lies in eating, shopping, and wandering through the strikingly different neighborhoods and the various markets. Think of Mumbai as a 50-km (30-mile) -long open-air bazaar.

Colaba, headed by Gateway of India, is the tourist district and main drag for visitors, and from the Gateway of India to Colaba Market, along the main road, is a walkable stretch of hotels, pubs, restaurants, and interesting shops. Churchgate and Nariman Point are the business and hotel centers, and major bank and airline headquarters are clustered in skyscrapers on Nariman Point.

The district referred to as Fort—which includes Mumbai's hub, Flora Fountain—is filled with narrow, bustling streets lined with small shops and office buildings, as well as colleges and other educational facilities. Another upscale residential neighborhood, Malabar Hill, north of Churchgate on Marine Drive, is leafy and breezy, with fine, old stone mansions housing wealthy industrialists and government ministers.

Shopping and people-watching are most colorfully combined in Mumbai's chaotic bazaar areas, such as Chor Bazaar, Zaveri (jewelry) Bazaar, and Crawford Market (aka Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market). Many of the city's newest and trendiest shops and restaurants are now out in the suburbs—where more and more people have been moving due to soaring real-estate prices and a lack of space—but South Mumbai still retains some of the very best.

Some travelers opt to stay in the suburbs, either in Bandra, at the end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link; or in Juhu, a popular coastal suburb between Mumbai and the airports (about 20 km [12 miles] north of the city center). Juhu's beaches aren't clean enough for swimming, and the place can be scruffy, but staying out here is a good way to observe everyday Indian life beyond the shadow of Mumbai's skyline. Sunday nights bring families down to the beach for an old-fashioned carnival, complete with small, hand-powered Ferris wheels, and lantern-lit snack stalls hawking sugarcane.

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  • 1. Babulnath Temple

    Malabar Hill | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    To get the flavor of a large, traditional Indian temple that's nevertheless jammed in the heart of a busy city, a visit to the Babulnath Temple...Read More

  • 2. Banganga Water Tank

    Malabar Hill | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This serene, criminally under-visited temple complex is considered one of the city's holiest sites. It's also the oldest surviving structure...Read More

  • 3. Haji Ali Shrine

    Central Mumbai | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Set far out on a thin, rocky jetty in the Arabian Sea, this striking, dilapidated white shrine was built in honor of the Muslim saint Haji Ali...Read More

  • 4. Jain Temple

    Malabar Hill | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    What may be the most impressive temple in Mumbai belongs to the prosperous, strictly vegetarian Jains, the largely Gujarati followers of Lord...Read More

  • 5. Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue

    Fort | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The attractive and ornate Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue is across from Jehangir Art Gallery and behind Rhythm House, at the southern edge of Fort...Read More

  • 6. Magen Hassidim Synagogue

    Central Mumbai | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This is probably Mumbai's most active synagogue, but being in Byculla, it's not really much of a tourist destination and, as a Hasidic synagogue...Read More

  • 7. Mumbadevi Temple

    CST | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    At the Bhuleshwar (the name of a neighborhood) end of Zaveri Bazaar is the six-century-old Mumbadevi Temple, a noisy, busy structure that houses...Read More

  • 8. Shaare Rahamim

    CST | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    North of Crawford Market via P. D'Mello Road, past Carnac Bunder and right next to the Masjid train station, is the hard-to-find Shaare Rahamim...Read More

  • 9. Siddhivinayak Temple

    Central Mumbai | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Pilgrims travel from far and wide—often on foot—to visit the Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. The shrine...Read More

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